Peacemaking and Peacebuilding in South Africa
Title Details

518 Pages

23.4 x 15.6 cm

35 b/w, 2 line illus.

Imprint: James Currey

Peacemaking and Peacebuilding in South Africa

The National Peace Accord, 1991-1994

by Liz Carmichael

  • Description
  • Contents
  • Author
  • Reviews
Examines the creation and implementation of South Africa's National Peace Accord and this key transitional phase in the country's history, and its implications for peace mediation and conflict resolution.
It is now 30 years since the National Peace Accord (NPA) was signed in South Africa, bringing to an end the violent struggle of the Apartheid era and signalling the transition to democracy. Signed by the ANC Alliance, the Government, the Inkatha Freedom Party and a wide range of other political and labour organizations on 14 September 1991, the parties agreed in the NPA on the common goal of a united, non-racial democratic South Africa, and provided practical means for moving towards this end: codes of conduct for political organizations and for the police, the creation of national, regional and local peace structures for conflict resolution, the investigation and prevention of violence, peace monitoring, socio-economic reconstruction and peacebuilding.
This book, written by one of those involved in the process that evolved, provides for the first time an assessment and in-depth account of this key phase of South Africa's history. The National Peace Campaign set up under the NPA mobilized the 'silent majority' and gave peace an unprecedented grassroots identity and legitimacy. The author describes the formulation of the NPA by political representatives, with Church and business facilitators, which ended the political impasse, constituted South Africa's first experience of multi-party negotiations, and made it possible for the constitutional talks (Codesa) to start. She examines the work of the Goldstone Commission, which prefigured the TRC, as well as the role of international observers from the UN, EU, Commonwealth and OAU. Exploring the work of the peace structures set up to implement the Accord - the National Peace Committee and Secretariat, the 11 Regional Peace Committees and 263 Local Peace Committees, and over 18,000 peace monitors - Carmichael provides a uniquely detailed assessment of the NPA, the on-the-ground peacebuilding work and the essential involvement of the people at its heart. Filling a significant gap in modern history, this book will be essential reading for scholars, students and others interested in South Africa's post-Apartheid history, as well as government agencies and NGOs involved in peacemaking globally.
Foreword by Archbishop Desmond Tutu
Introduction
PART ONE: Peacemaking, Peacebuilding, and the South African Conflict
1 Peacemaking and Peacebuilding: situating South Africa
2 South Africa's Fractured Rainbow
3 Repression, Reform, Resistance, and Grassroots War
PART TWO: Peacemaking
4 Churches, Business, Secret Talks
5 De Klerk becomes President, Mandela walks free
6 Deadlock and the President's Summit
7 Convening the Parties
8 Negotiating the National Peace Accord: the Process
9 Negotiating the National Peace Accord: the Agreements
10 National Peace Convention, 14 September 1991
PART THREE: Peacebuilding
11 National Peace Committee: Promoting Peace
12 National Peace Secretariat: Getting to Grassroots
13 Mobilizing the People, Making Peace Cool
14 Peace Monitoring: Building Peace on the Streets
15 Socio-economic Reconstruction and Development (SERD)
16 Building Peace in the Regions I: Natal/KwaZulu, Wits/Vaal
17 Building Peace in the Regions II: the Cape, OFS, and Transvaal
18 The Goldstone Commission
19 The Police Board, Community Policing, CPFs
20 A Role in Future Peacebuilding?
21 Conclusion: Impact and Unfinished Business

Revd Dr Liz Carmichael MBE is an Emeritus Research Fellow at St John's College, Oxford, where she convenes the peace studies network of Oxford University. She worked as a medical doctor in Soweto 1975-1981, and in the Anglican Diocese of Johannesburg 1991-1996 while also serving on the local and regional peace structures.

"This book offers what few have accomplished: a nuanced and overarching exploration of both the promise and challenges of moving a whole society from protracted violent conflict toward enduring peace. Perhaps the most compelling aspect of this extraordinary book is found in its multi-faceted understanding of what is required of a transformational process, and always with the capacity to look back at the before, during, and after the formal accords were signed. The detail, integrity of research, and comprehensive nature make this a must-read for those interested in peace with justice." John Paul Lederach, University of Notre Dame
"South Africa owes Dr Carmichael an enormous debt of gratitude for documenting, in such fascinating detail, this significant piece of South African history." Val Pauquet, National Peace Committee and Secretariat, 1991–1994
"An important contribution that not only provides a comprehensive account of the complexities of peacemaking and peacebuilding processes, but also adds considerable detail to the historical record about South Africa's transition from apartheid rule to democracy. Importantly, it not only includes the insights and views of the elites, but also those ordinary peacebuilders who were at the coalface of making and constructing peace in South Africa during the turbulent 1980s and 1990s." Guy Lamb, Stellenbosch University
"Liz Carmichael's masterly account of the National Peace Accord shows the central importance of everyday actors - engaged citizens, church, union and business leaders - in building lasting peace in South Africa. ... Through interviews with key players and unearthing a little-known literature, Carmichael provides a compelling and provocative account of that critical period. This deepens our understanding of the peacemaking process in South Africa and highlights the vital role of everyday peacebuilders around the world." Phil Clark, SOAS University of London
"Documents an important aspect of the history of South Africa's transition to democracy and describes the interaction between South African civil society and its political actors in enabling its peace process. ... a useful resource not only for scholars in peace studies and South African history, but also for institutions and actors facing the task of making/building/forming peace." Andries Odendaal, Institute of Justice and Reconciliation, Cape Town
"A remarkable book that is enormously important for our history, and that will inform and inspire many other future peace processes.
In 1994, South Africa and the world witnessed what Desmond Tutu called a miracle, a negotiated transition of power from a rogue Apartheid regime to a free multiracial democratically elected government headed by Nelson Mandela. This book explains how government, business, religious bodies and wider civil society worked together in local and regional peace committees across South Africa to keep the transition as peaceful as possible. As Liz Carmichael establishes without a doubt in this first full account, this feat would not have been possible without the National Peace Accord." Cedric de Coning, Norwegian Institute of International Affairs (NUPI) and ACCORD
"The National Peace Accord brought us from a life of violence under apartheid to a multifaceted quilt of warring parties working together to save lives and lay the foundation for South Africa's transition to a peaceful democracy in 1994. This book tells how it was done." Jay Naidoo, General Secretary of COSATU 1985–1993
"This is a timely book. It closes a gap in knowledge about what exactly happened during the period of the National Peace Accord and what its contribution was to the democratic order that emerged. There are fascinating insights into how the idea of 'peace' was contested, and the notion of peacebuilding as hybrid, driven both from below and above. This book shows how ordinary citizens and concerned individuals play a part in facilitating peace processes. It helps to recast the perspective from a single narrative of a major political party that delivered change, to the complexity of political change as shaped by multiple actors with different perspectives and skills, but a shared interest in building a stable future. I really enjoyed reading this." Mzukisi Qobo, University of the Witwatersrand
"Seldom has there been a political transition so profound as South Africa's transition from racist apartheid to democracy. South Africa's transition was all the more remarkable - and at the time surprising - for being largely peaceful. In this compelling and important book, Liz Carmichael offers a definitive account of the National Peace Accord which paved the way to peaceful transition. Combining rich insights from archives, interviews, and her own personal experience working with local peace committees, with a deep understanding of the difficult politics of peace-making, this book tells a gripping and ultimately hopeful story, one full of insight that reaches well beyond South Africa. It offers illumination for anyone concerned about peaceful political transitions. This is a book of genuine and lasting value, that demands to be read, and whose lessons must be learned." Alex Bellamy, University of Queensland
"It's the hitherto untold story of people who, finding themselves unexpectedly together and called upon without precedent or guidelines to prepare a safe climate for negotiations which in turn would be without precedent or guidelines, creatively and imaginatively invented pragmatic solutions. A strong story, strongly told by one of the key participants, it not only provides a key ingredient for understanding how precarious the transformation from apartheid to non-racial democracy was in South Africa, but offers rich lessons for securing foundations for peace processes throughout the world." Albie Sachs, former Judge on South Africa’s Constitutional Court

Hardcover

9781847012562

July 2022

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Title Details

518 Pages

2.34 x 1.56 cm

35 b/w, 2 line illus.

Imprint: James Currey